Mentoring is one area of chaplain service that we can all appreciate and accomplish.
men·tor [men-tawr, -ter] noun 1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. 2. an influential senior sponsor or supporter. verb (used without object) 3. to act as a mentor
How are we mentors, and to whom? Let me suggest some ways:
- Experienced chaplains teach, train, and support younger chaplains
- Younger chaplains assist candidates and seminarians to discern a call to chaplaincy
- Chaplains in the reserve components counsel deployed reserve and Guard chaplains AND their civilian congregations before, during, and after separation
- Retired and former chaplains teach civilian congregations to welcome military members, veterans and their families into full partnership in ministry
- Retired and former chaplains support active duty military and VA chaplains in conducting funerals, counseling warriors and their families, visiting the sick, caring for the bereaved
- Chaplains now in civilian service guide and teach other clergy and laity to appreciate the broad spectrum of American faith communities as facets of the same jewel – the family of God on earth
- Of course, chaplains always serve as mentors, guides, and teachers to our lay people – military members, veterans, and their families – wherever we find them
- And whatever our rank, grade, service, or faith, we are called to mentor each other, to care for each other, and to pray for each other
Every one of us can add to this list and think of ways to continue our work in uniform and out of uniform. We can also share our experience as we tell others of the work we do in our Chapter meetings and by posting it in a ministry report on the MCA web page. Your ideas may open up new ministry for the rest of us. As you do the work of the Lord in your own setting, may the Lord bless you as richly as you bless others.
Chaplain Certain, Executive Director